My uncle just died and I am named as the executor of his estate. Where do I start? by: Janell Sprinkle
As executor, you are responsible for carrying out the terms of your uncle’s will and overseeing the administration of his estate. Your duties will vary depending on the complexity of the estate, but generally, you are in charge of inventorying his assets, paying any debts and taxes due, then transferring what’s left to those entitled to it.
A good starting place is to locate important documents including death certificate, Will, and any Trust Agreement. You will also want to gather documentation of assets such as current bank statements, investment statements, deeds, life insurance policies, certificates of title, etc.
Next, speak with your uncle’s attorney, or one chosen by you, to help determine which assets are subject to probate. The attorney will review your uncle’s estate documents, determine the best path for settling his estate based on the particulars of his assets, and prepare necessary legal documentation granting you authority and access. The attorney will also provide you with direction as to your next steps to ensure you are equipped to successfully complete your duties as executor.